In the recently ended session, the Georgia Legislature proposed Senate Bill 377, The Religious Freedom Act, which fortunately died in committee after opposition from local corporations and municipalities. But the Tea Party and others have vowed to continue to fight the malevolent fight.
Julliane Thompson on Thursday, April 10, 2014, in her AJC op-ed, “Religious Liberty Defines Freedom in US,” defends Georgia Senate Bill 377 by writing “A Halal (kosher) butcher should not be forced to serve pork. A Catholic physician should not be forced to provide abortions. A company like Hobby Lobby should not be forced to violate its beliefs because of a government mandate.”
And the Atlanta Tea Party co-chair should not be forced to create ridiculous “red herrings” to support her flawed point of view, she did that on her own volition.
Georgia Senate Bill 377 is the opposite of a “religious freedom” bill. Most Americans would agree that the Hobby lobby case is about religious freedom, but not Hobby Lobby’s. It’s about the employee’s religious freedom, to not have their employer, a privately owned corporation, force the owner’s personal religious dogma on their employees, or restrict their employees “God given” and “inalienable” religious and personal freedoms. Such as the freedom to have a legal abortion if necessary. It’s Gods job to hold people accountable for their behavior, not Hobby Lobby.
The point of Senate Bill 377 is to allow small minded religious bigots to discriminate in the workplace against a Jewish butcher, or a Catholic physician. Or to discriminate against a gay Catholic physician in a relationship with a kosher Jewish butcher because that relationship offends the bigots religious beliefs. Or to discriminate against a Jewish physician who performs abortions because the bigot’s religious belief is “Right to Life.”
Besides, the ACA does not require or allow abortions to be covered or require any person or corporation to pay for drugs that are scientifically proven to be abortifacients. Religious beliefs should not triumph over scientific facts or be used to discriminate against other citizens and their religious or non-religious beliefs.
Still, it has been revealed recently that Hobby Lobby invests employee retirement funds in pharmaceutical companies that profit from the manufacture and sale of abortificients. This, despite the fact that mutual funds exist that invest narrowly in order to respect the religious views of various investors.
When cooler heads bottled up the bill in committee, the Tea Party vowed to fight another day to revive their intolerant agenda. The Atlanta Tea Party co-chair says “Our resolve is set in concrete.” In fact, their minds are set in concrete, the concrete of racism, intolerance and bigotry. The concrete of past eras when intolerance was tolerated. Let’s move forward.